This hearty recipe is part of the traditional Acadian cuisine. It was – and still is – one of the favorite meals of Acadians, at least in the region of southeast New Brunswick.
Origin: Grand-Pré National Historic Site
Region: Atlantic (Nova Scotia)
Course: Main Course
Painting of The Harvest by artist Claude Picard© Parks Canada
Bouilli (boiled dinner) is a traditional Acadian meal. All of the ingredients would have been found in the bountiful gardens and farms of the Acadians in the area of Grand Pré. It was no doubt among the meals that the Acadian women prepared during the voyage from Grand-Pré to the Anglo-American colonies in the fall of 1755. In fact, the provision lists of the deportation boats included most of the ingredients – cabbage, turnips, potatoes and salt beef instead of salt pork.
- 5 oz | 150 g salt pork (cut in small cubes and sautéed until browned)
- 3-3½ lbs | 1.5 kg pork loin
- 1 lb | 500 g cabbage, cut in eight pieces
- 1 lb | 500 potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
- ½ lb | 250 g white turnip
- ½ lb | 250 g carrots, cut in 1-1½-inch (3-4 cm) pieces, then cut in half or quarters
- ½ lb | 250 g green or yellow beans (fresh or salted)
- In a large pot, cover the meat with water and bring to a boil. When almost cooked, add the vegetables beginning with the cabbage, carrots and turnips, then followed by potatoes and beans; bring all to a boil and cook until just done.
- The cabbage is usually cut into eight pieces, while the turnip is cut into round slices or half moons. Potatoes are cut into fairly large pieces, while the carrots are cut into 3 to 4 cm long pieces and split into two or four pieces depending on the size of the carrot. As for the beans, they are left intact, as is the pork. The pork tenderloin can be substituted with pork legs.
- Note: The original recipe uses salt pork instead of pork loin. If you choose to use salt pork and also salted beans, you will need to remove the salt before adding them to the other ingredients. To do this, cover the salt pork and salted beans with water and boil for about 10 minutes; drain and recover with fresh water. Repeat. Test the meat and beans; if still too salty, repeat a third time and then add to the rest of the ingredients.
- The quantity of vegetables − carrots, potatoes and beans − varies depending on taste. One large cabbage and one large turnip are usually sufficient, but more can be added if desired. Likewise more or less pork can be used.
Recipe tested by Chef Scott Warrick, Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism
Recipe adapted from : Marielle Boudreau and Melvin Gallant, Le guide de la cuisine traditionnelle acadienne, Montréal/Moncton, Les Éditions Stanké et Les Éditions d’Acadie, 1980.